Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: A SUMMER'S DAY: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist


A Summer’s Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist
Authors: Nephy Heart, Louise Lyons, Rebecca Cohen, JL Merrow, Charlie Cochrane, Asta Idonea, Dianne Hartsock, Rory Ni Coileain, Kathy Griffith, M LeAnne Phoenix, Phetra H Novak, Rian Durant
Genre: Gay Romance/Fiction
Length: Anthology, 115 K
Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

A collection of 12 stories celebrating the Bard’s legacy with modern retelling of some of his works and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.
There is gentle YA romance next to hot sexy stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.
We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.
There’s fun, drama, tears, joy and, above all, lots of true love.
All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:



Find the blurbs at the end of the post
on the books's Facebook Page, where you can also some pictures the authors thought will go well with their stories. :)


 Kiss Me Kade
Nephy Heart

 “Hey, Kate.”
Kade groaned inwardly as he found Pete scooting along the row of seats toward him.
“Don’t call me Kate, and please feel free to sit anywhere in the theatre that isn’t within speaking distance.”
“Don’t be like that. You know you like my company.” Grinning, Pete slumped into the seat next to Kade.
“Whatever. Just leave me alone, I have work to do.”
Pete snatched the book off Kade’s knee and studied the cover. “Sex and Drugs: A Minefield for the Single Girl,” Pete read, gleefully. “Last minute preparation for tonight?” he leered. “Although I’m surprised you’re studying girls. I didn’t think that was your bag.”
“What?” Fury burned hot in Kade and he cursed himself for his heated cheeks, which Pete was sure to misinterpret. “First, it’s for a Sociology assignment, and second, what the hell do you mean, not my bag? What are you suggesting?”
Pete shrugged. “I’m not suggesting anything, Kate. Keep your knickers on.”
Kade took a breath as he counted to ten. It didn’t help. “Don’t call me Kate,” he snarled.
“Why not? Kade doesn’t suit you. You’re too pretty.”
Kade jerked away when Pete thrust a hand into his hair and ran the long, silky strands through his fingers. “Don’t touch me,” Kade snapped. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Keep your hands off me.”
“Don’t pretend you don’t like it.”
“It’s not pretence and if you touch me again, I’ll show you how much I like it, with a punch in the face.”

Much Ado About Lady Macbeth
Rebecca Cohen

SURELY DAVID WAS not the only one who could see Jacob’s complete lack of talent. Jacob might be pretty enough to pass as Juliet, in the right light and squinting, but the minute the petulant popinjay opened his mouth his ineptitude had to be clear to all. How Jacob had ever become a player in the King’s Men was beyond David’s comprehension. He seethed quietly to himself as he watched Jacob prance from one side of the stage to the other, supposedly a sprightly fairy but looking more like he was suffering from ague. David clicked his tongue in annoyance as Jacob fumbled his words.
A soft sigh to his right made him turn to see his friend Gwilliam shake his head. “What?” David demanded.
“You grind your teeth so loudly I thought it was a carpenter at work. Yet, the reason for it is so absurd you cannot see the ridiculousness from where you are, deep in your cave of wilful denial.”
“Denial? What gibberish knots your tongue?”
Gwilliam tutted and returned to reading the pamphlet he was holding. “Your animosity for Jacob is no more real than the fairy he is currently playing.”

David spluttered, almost swallowing his tongue at the implication of Gwilliam’s words. A “shush” from the stage prevented him from answering and he sank lower in his seat, his gaze fixed on the annoying Jacob and his annoyingly perfect bottom. David couldn’t grumble about the importance of his role, but thought he should be playing Titania, not the dull-witted Helena. A pining maiden was no match for the queen of the fairies.

Carra's Review (select stories)

Kiss Me Kade
You can't help but feel for Kade is this story once you find out the truth of things.  He's selfless and protective of his younger sister, doing most everything he does for her.  Pete wants Kade, and even at this young age (seems to be late teens), has a dominating presence and demeanor, wanting Kade to submit to him.  But once he finds out what Kade is trying to hide, Pete switches into protective mode, taking care of Kade (and his sister) to make sure Kade is safe--and his.

It's a bit of a stretch for the Dom-like attitude for one as young as Pete (while never explicitly stated, the story appears to be set in high school), but that aside Kiss Me Kade is still a really good short read.

If Music Be...
It always makes things interesting when things get stirred up with an old flame.  Things between Rick and Jonny may or may not work out, but Jonny needs to come clean with Rick before anything. This one has them tiptoe-ing around each other until Jonny can fess up to why he's still in the closet.  I would have liked to had a more concrete ending, but at least it seems these two guys are heading in the right direction.

A Hero's Last Battle
From sweet love at first sight to some overly dramatic craziness, back to sweet and loving again, A Hero's Last Battle was quite entertaining-if a bit over the top in theatrics. Both Hero and Claudio were wonderful, I just wish we could have seen more of the two of them together.

Nothing Like the Sun
Is there anything better than a friends-to-more story?  It's one of my favorite tropes, and Nothing Like the Sun does it beautifully.  It's fast, it's a tad heart-wrenching for Jerome when he tries to finally meet someone in person after hiding his disfigured self away for so long, and in the end it's sweet and satisfying when he and Sam tell-and show-each other how they really feel.  This was my favorite story of the bunch! 

Much Ado About Lady Macbeth
From friends-to-more we switch to enemies-t0-more in this delightfully naughty tale of David and Jacob.  Always going up against each other for roles, when they both miss the one they want they commiserate with each other when things turn decidedly raunchy...and even then they can't stop trading barbs-though now the meaning behind it is definitely no longer what it once was.  A bit spicy, a bit fun, especially once the two discover they have plenty in common.  It's an entertaining one and a great way to finish off the anthology.


Clarence Limont is a slowly fading star of the London stage; convinced his great performances are all behind him, he nevertheless agrees to play Prospero in an off-off-Broadway production of The Tempest helmed by an old friend.
Jaymes Stafford is the production’s starry-eyed Ariel, waking feelings Clarence had thought long dead and buried.
But the poisonous jealousy of other members of the cast may steal the stars from Jaymes’ eyes, and even put paid to Clarence’s illustrious career.
("The Tempest")

Louise Lyons
When Romeo runs into Julian on the beach, he's the last person he wants to see as he’s grown up hating him due to his parents' aversion to Julian's dad.
Forced to rescue Julian from the sea, Romeo is surprised by his grudging attraction to the other young man.
When simple lust becomes something more, the pair ignore their parents' anger, but family fights drive the lovers away from home - into a horrifying incident. Will it make the Montgomerys and the Caplins rethink their feud?
("Romeo and Juliet")

Asta Idonea
Caius Martius and Tullus Aufidius have long been enemies.
Then Martius arrives on Aufidius' doorstep, seeking a military alliance. Aufidius accepts; however, he wishes their partnership to extend from the battlefield to the bedchamber.
His lust for Martius is one of the reasons he spares his life, but his jealousy will soon have terrible consequences.

Nephy Heart
Kade is in trouble, negotiating a dangerous path between an authoritarian father and wayward sister.
Then Pete storms into his life and tries to take over.
It can only end in disaster.
("Taming of The Shrew")

Charlie Cochrane
Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner.
He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have reveled in.
Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?
("Twelfth Night")

Dianne Hartsock
Valentine has been watching Preston date man after man with never more than a brotherly hug for him.
Finally, despairing that Preston will ever love him in return, Val moves away to college, where he meets the glorious Silver, a man with problems of his own, who just might be his answer.
Torn between his attraction to Preston and his growing desire for Silver, Val wonders if he’ll ever find love or will his life become as tragic as any of the Shakespearean plays he loves so well.
("The Two Gentlemen of Verona")

Rian Durant
Desmond, the heir of a business owner is outed in the media after a hot night with his lover, Olvin, who also happens to be the company’s best negotiation expert.
This is only the first step in Ian’s plan to get back at Olvin for choosing Michel Caswell as a main assistant for the latest merger instead of him, a plan in which he’s moving everybody around like pawns on a chessboard, bending the rules.
Will Ian drive a wedge between Desmond and Olvin and get the position he wants or will he realize that there’s something more important that stops the world from turning into chaos?

Kathy Griffith
Tony and Bartholomew have been friends for years, but his latest request is a little much.
Bart needs a loan to impress Porsche Keller, a personable billionaire, but the only cash available is from banker and raging homophobe Sherlock Palmer, who has a devious plan for them.
Will our heroes find love and get their happy ending?
("The Merchant of Venice")

Phetra H Novak
Claudio is happy to be home after serving his country as a soldier for over fifteen years being stationed mostly abroad ready to settle down.
Hero is still living at home, together with his father, trying to do what is expected a young man his age is supposed to do, work and live every day like it is your last.
The two men meet at a family wedding, realizing they share a mutual dream of finding love and starting a family but evil lurks amongst them. Will these two lovers find a way to be together?
("Much Ado About Nothing")

JL Merrow
Hollywood darling Jerome Winter always defined himself by his looks—until a fire destroyed them.
His oldest friend and still-loyal manager, Sam, has long carried a torch for him, but with his looks—and earning power—gone, what does Jerome have left to offer?
(Sonnet 130)

M LeAnne Phoenix
When actor Koray Shepherd rescues writer Winter Sirois from the brutal hands of his supervisor, Winter never would have believed the beautiful Turk would share his love of The Bard.
When Koray asks Winter out on a date, Winter takes center stage in his very own tragedy, determined to end his play for today with a happily ever after.
Screwing his courage to the sticking place, Winter sets his sights on the future and Koray... but when the horrors of yesterday resurface, will he crest the waves of fear and despair, or will he be heard no more?

Rebecca Cohen
Competition for roles is always high when the King's Men put on a play, but David seems to come up against Jacob time and time again, no matter what part he is auditioning for.
But now they both want to be Lady Macbeth and it’s more than simple rivalry that causes the sparks to fly.
(Shakespeare's Theatre)


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